Voters in Middletown's South Fire District will go to the polls on Tuesday, April 28th to vote on a 3.86 million dollar budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. While spending is up slightly over the current budget, the mil rate for the coming fiscal year will actually go down from the current 3.381 to 3.377.
The only significant change in the budget is in the area of personnel. In an effort to address an on-going issue of overtime needed just to maintain minimum staffing, the Board of Fire Commissioners has proposed hiring three additional firefighters. This will result in an additional firefighter on each platoon, allowing for one firefighter per platoon to be off for training, illness, workers compensation or vacation without having to hire a firefighter on overtime to meet the minimum staffing requirement. For reasons of public and firefighter safety and to comply with the firefighters contract, South Fire District currently staffs each platoon with a minimum of 6 personnel.
The proposed reduction in overtime costs combined with a reorganization of the District Tax Office and a give-back from the firefighters union has resulted in a 3.81 percent decrease on the Salary line of the proposed budget when compared with the current budget. The firefighters, through their local of the International Association of Fire Fighters have agreed to give up their cost of living pay increases in the coming fiscal year and have agreed to attend certain additional training on their own time.
A summary of the proposed South Fire District Budget is available on the South Fire District web site at www.southfiredistrict.com. Voting on the budget will take place on Tuesday, April 28th from 6 am to 8 pm at the firehouse located at 445 Randolph Rd.
Fire protection in the City of Middletown is not part of the City's General Fund Budget. Therefore the City is served by three Fire Districts, Middletown, South District and Westfield with each district having its own separate budget and tax rate. South Fire District covers everything south of Route 17 Connector to the Durham and Haddam Town lines and from the east side of South Main Street to the Connecticut River.